Moving to a New City for College? Here’s What You Should Know


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Few events are as life-altering as stepping foot inside a new university campus. Some students have their lives’ trajectory turned upside down through scholarships and grants. As per Statista, there are over 3,000 universities and colleges in the US to choose from. 

Some students are compelled to relocate for better academic opportunities. Others choose this for themselves to have a fresh start, enjoy immense personal growth, or step out of their comfort zone. 

Whether you’re simply shifting from one city to another or a different state altogether, we understand that this transition can be overwhelming. In this article, we will share useful tips to follow before and after moving to a new city for study purposes. 

Tips to Follow Before You’ve Made the Move 

Are you excited to pack your bags and get on the road or take off through the sky? If yes, then it is time to perform your due diligence now. That way, you will be prepared to start your new life once you’ve reached the location. 

Listed below are important things to tick off before moving to the new city. 

Find Your Neighborhood and Residence 

By this time, your university should have been decided. Now, proceed by earmarking a few good neighborhoods to stay. There is always the option of choosing residential housing at the university campus. 

In case you wish to have greater privacy and freedom, a separate apartment would be an ideal choice. Research popular, safe, and affordable localities close to your new university. Ensure the area is well-connected to the rest of the city and get to know the local culture. 

You can even use social media forums to discuss the chosen neighborhoods. Do not skip this process as first-hand experiences are worth more than carefully curated facts. 

Determine the Packing and Shifting Process 

Your packing process before shifting to the new city will entirely depend on the distance as well as the destination’s accessibility. Some students may be able to drive themselves, while others may require shipping and logistics services. 

If the new city is only a couple of hours’ drive away, consider the former option as it will be cost-effective. The higher price here is the extra hassle and effort involved in smart packing and shifting. If you want to take the easier route, relay this process into the hands of professionals. 

Pack after thorough consideration of what items you may need and what can be done away with. For instance – it’s possible to purchase toiletries in the destination city, so let that load shed off. On the other hand, items like an orthopedic sleep pillow are non-negotiable and must be packed even if pillows are provided by the housing facilities. 

Prepare a Budget 

As you embark on a new journey of studying in college, educating yourself on budgets and finances becomes paramount. Why not start before making the move? Create a rough estimate of the costs that will be involved in the shifting stage. This is particularly essential if you’re hiring professional packers and movers. 

As a general rule of thumb, make room for the following costs –

  • Cost of logistics 
  • Personal transportation cost – flight, train, or car gas 
  • The residence’s security deposit 
  • Applications fees, if involved 
  • Any new electronics or home furnishings 
  • Intermediary accommodation in the form of an Airbnb or a hotel 

Tips to Follow Once You’ve Moved 

The moving process itself can be quite chaotic and overwhelming. Oftentimes, students realize much later that they forgot something. It all hits suddenly once the initial excitement has subsided. Confounding feelings of nostalgia, homesickness, or isolation may creep in. 

This is why it is important to have a game plan to follow once you’ve made the move to a new city. Though there are too many things to take care of in such a scenario, we will discuss the most important three. 

Consider Personal Safety 

The possibility of a new city brings with it the possibility of new dangers. These may take various forms –

  • Theft or burglary in case of apartment living 
  • Suspicious strangers when out alone at night 
  • Dubious students on campus 
  • Unfamiliar routes 

Let’s take a small example to understand, one that is often overlooked by adrenaline-rich university students. Suppose you move to the vibrant city of Edwardsville in Illinois. This place is renowned for its theatrical attractions and educational sites. Of all universities, perhaps Southern Illinois University is the most sought-after. 

The campus is massive, occupying 2,660 acres of land, and the area can be quite confusing. Unless you’re a campus resident, it’s unlikely that you’ll have access to shuttle buses. You can rent a bike or even an electric car to move to and fro, but be mindful of the route and traffic rules. It’s easy to get lost and encounter prying strangers willing to take advantage. 

Know Your Rights 

Student as you will be, there are certain rights you can exercise even in a completely new city. These range from rights to personal safety services to compensation for personal injuries. Even if you sustain minor cuts in a shuttle bus accident, you may be eligible for compensation. 

Let’s expand on this further using our previous example. In case you meet with an accident while biking around your Edwardsville neighborhood or even on foot, do not neglect it. An Edwardsville personal injury lawyer can take up your case to ensure the liable party fairly compensates. 

Such laws are in place for the welfare of all citizens, including those from other states or countries. According to TorHoerman Law, the compensation would generally cover physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial strain. 

Similarly, you have the right to report any form of harassment on campus to the campus safety authorities. Speak up and reach for appropriate help before matters get worse. 

Seek Community 

University life, especially during its initial stages, can be isolating and painful. This experience is often shared by those who are shy and find it difficult to approach new people. Realize that the courage it took you to shift to a whole new city is a feat in itself. 

If you can do that, you can reach out to your classmates and neighbors for small talk. You may be surprised at how such instances transform into meaningful friendships. Maintain a mindset that you have nothing to lose from introducing yourself. 

Join organized groups in the form of a sports club, non-profit organization, etc. These places are your best bet at finding like-minded individuals. After all, is friendship not the coming together of those who enjoy doing similar activities? 

With this in mind, The American Council on Education considers 2024 to be a ‘year like no other’ from the admissions viewpoint. Millions of students have relocated just to pursue their academic dreams. This cycle will continue in the upcoming years.  

Are you also excited to begin a new phase of life? Then, retain the tips this article provides in your memory because you best believe that you’ll need them sooner or later!

Drawing from extensive knowledge and research, I craft engaging content in fashion, lifestyle, and home improvement niches, blending expertise with creativity.


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